What is skin testing?

When you come to an allergist’s office to figure out what you are allergic to (food and environmental allergens), you will likely get skin testing or scratch testing.  Skin testing is the preferred method that is used for testing.  It consists of no needles or blood…phew!  With plastic applicators, we apply different allergens to your body (usually arms or back) and wait for about 15 minutes and ask that you do not scratch.  After that, we can see what you are testing positive for and if those positives are contributing to your symptoms. Skin testing causes a local reaction which manifests as small, red, itchy bumps which feel and look a lot like mosquito bites. The itching will usually last for about 30 minutes, and the bumps usually go away within a day or two.  It is a quick, simple, and rather painless test, so much that we even perform it on babies. So, come in to our office today—we would be happy to help you!

Author
Ambka S. Ambka is a PA here at Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center of LI. She specializes in allergy and immunology conditions.

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